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>Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 13:38:41 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Lake Champlain Committee <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Lake Champlain Committee Lake Look Column
>
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>September 2006
>
>
>
>Dear Lake Champlain Committee Members and Activists,
>
>Below you’ll find the most recent issue of LCC’s Lake Look column. In “The 
>Heat Is On”, Staff Scientist Mike Winslow outlines some potential 
>ecological consequences of global warming for Lake Champlain.
>
>Currently, noted environmental author Bill McKibben is leading a five-day 
>walk through the Champlain Valley to raise awareness about global warming. 
>The walk, which culminates at Battery Park in downtown Burlington on Labor 
>Day is a hopeful effort to prompt policy leaders to act. If you live in 
>the area, please consider joining the walk. Go to 
><http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=klnjaybab.0.58jnaybab.bnw8ysbab.337&ts=S0201&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fromtheroadlesstraveled.org>www.fromtheroadlesstraveled.org 
>for more information and to sign up. If you live too far away to 
>participate in the walk, you can reduce your personal contribution to 
>global warming by following the tips below.
>
>Drive less – Walk, bike, carpool and take mass transit whenever possible. 
>Every mile you don’t drive saves one pound of carbon dioxide.
>Buy local food – It takes a lot of energy to ship food across the country.
>Replace light bulbs – Replacing a regular light bulb with a compact 
>fluorescent saves 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
>Adjust your thermostat – Lowering your thermostat just 2 degrees in winter 
>can save about 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
>Plant a tree – A single tree absorbs one ton of carbon dioxide over its 
>lifetime on average.
>Reduce use of hot water – By installing low flow showerheads and washing 
>clothes in cold water you can save about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
>For more tips and information, visit 
><http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=klnjaybab.0.48jnaybab.bnw8ysbab.337&ts=S0201&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.climatecrisis.net%2Ftakeaction%2F>http: 
>//www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/
>
>Everything we do makes a difference.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Lori Fisher
>Executive Director
>
>Lake Look -- The Heat is On
>By Lake Champlain Committee Staff Scientist Mike Winslow
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>15f808e.jpg With heat waves sweeping the nation, Al Gore starring in a 
>documentary movie, and Time Magazine offering a cover article on climate 
>in March, global warming has been the subject of extensive discussion in 
>the last few weeks and months. Of the 20 hottest years on record, 19 have 
>occurred since the 1980s or later. The first five years of this century 
>have produced five of the six hottest ever. And early in July the federal 
>government reported that the first half of 2006 was the warmest in the 
>United States since record keeping began. Global warming skeptics are 
>beginning to sound more and more like proponents of a flat earth.
>
>Responding to massive ecological changes like global warming requires 
>first avoidance of the change and then adaptation to new conditions if 
>avoidance fails. Knowledge of potential future conditions helps us prepare 
>for adaptation. To that end, here are some potential ecological 
>consequences of global warming for Lake Champlain.
>
>Warming can bring about physical, chemical, and biological changes in the 
>lake. While some of the physical and chemical changes are fairly straight- 
>forward, others are speculative. Potential biological changes are all more 
>difficult to predict.
>
>Physical changes mostly involve the temperature of the lake. Higher winter 
>temperatures mean reductions in winter ice cover. Such reductions have 
>already begun. Prior to the 1950’s it was very unusual for Lake Champlain 
>not to freeze in a given year, but of late, an absence of ice cover has 
>become a fairly regular event. Higher temperatures mean the lake will 
>stratify earlier in the spring, setting up a warm layer of water over a 
>colder deeper layer, and stay stratified longer. A 1979 study stated 
>stratification in the Main Lake typically began in early June. Over the 
>last four years however, stratification has begun in early to mid-May. 
>Higher temperatures and a lake of ice cover means increased evaporation 
>from the lake. As a result, there is a general agreement, at least in 
>models of the Great Lakes, that average water levels will fall. However, 
>changes in local precipitation patterns greatly influence any such 
>predictions, and such changes may differ between the Great Lakes region 
>and the Champlain Valley.
>
>Most computer models predict an increase in precipitation in the Northeast 
>if global temperatures rise. Furthermore, the intensity of precipitation 
>events is likely to increase, meaning more rains of one inch or more. More 
>intense storms will likely mean increases in flooding and erosion related 
>run- off. More erosion will mean more nutrient delivery to the lake.
>
>Chemically, decreases in the oxygen content of lake water will likely 
>occur. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water. Additionally, the 
>longer duration of summer stratification would increase the likelihood of 
>oxygen depletion in lower layers. Such oxygen depletion occurs fairly 
>regularly in the Northeast Arm of the lake.
>
>Predicting biological changes in the lake as a result of warming means 
>attempting to integrate the impacts of all the physical and chemical 
>change on each species and speculating about how they will affect that 
>species interactions with other species.
>
>Results to date in other lakes have sometimes been contradictory. In 
>arctic lakes, global warming has led to an increase in algal biomass due 
>to longer growing seasons. On the other hand, in Lake Tanganyika in 
>Africa, algal production has decreased because warmer weather and less 
>wind have meant less nutrient delivery to the water.
>
>Some interactions are more complicated. In Lake Washington near Seattle, 
>algae and their predators had reached population maximums at about the 
>same time of year. Now however, higher temperatures allow the algae to 
>bloom earlier in the summer but the predators have not adapted. The 
>predator population has fallen by more than half over the last 26 years.
>
>Fish too will need to adapt to changing temperatures. Spawning in many 
>species is triggered by optimum temperatures. Earlier warming would mean 
>earlier spawning. Perhaps more importantly, available habitat for 
>cold-water species like trout and salmon could decrease, while habitat for 
>warm-water species like bass could increase.
>
>While global warming has begun, and preliminary effects have been seen in 
>Lake Champlain, there is still a window of opportunity for minimizing 
>future warming. For decades Americans have shunned steps that would help 
>avoid future warming: driving less, developing alternative fuel sources, 
>increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, investing in energy efficiency. 
>Without speedy adoption of strategies like these we will be left only the 
>option of adaptation.
>
>For a list of steps individuals can take visit 
><http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=klnjaybab.0.48jnaybab.bnw8ysbab.337&ts=S0201&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.climatecrisis.net%2Ftakeaction%2F>www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/ 
>
>
>About Lake Look
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>LCC's Lake Look Column is distributed monthly to LCC members and runs in 
>26 local and regional papers throughout the Lake Champlain watershed. 
>Click 
><http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=klnjaybab.0.cyzudxbab.bnw8ysbab.337&ts=S0201&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakechamplaincommittee.org%2Fcgi-bin%2Fnewspro%2Ffullnews.cgi%3Fnewsid1153849689%2C73441%2C>here 
>to read last month's Lake Look issue "Testing Beaches".
>
>Join/Donate
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>You can support LCC’s work for a healthy, accessible Lake by renewing your 
>membership or making a contribution today! Click 
><http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=klnjaybab.0.k54xatbab.bnw8ysbab.337&ts=S0201&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakechamplaincommittee.org%2Fjoin%2F>here 
>to make an online donation at our secure site or send a check to the 
>address below. Thanks for your ongoing support!
>
>Lake Champlain Committee ~ 106 Main Street, STE 200 ~ Burlington, VT 05401
>email: 
><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>phone: (802) 658-1414
>web: 
><http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=klnjaybab.0.j54xatbab.bnw8ysbab.337&ts=S0201&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakechamplaincommittee.org>http://www.lakechamplaincommittee.org 
>
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